Maker of defective bulletproof vests pays U.S. $960 million
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that with the agreement, PPI has pledged its cooperation in the government’s ongoing investigation of other entities that manufactured and sold Zylon vests purchased by the government.
The Justice Department alleged that PPI sold Zylon bulletproof vests that it knew were defective because the Zylon material was not appropriate for ballistic applications. The Zylon fiber for PPI’s vests came from Toyobo Co. Ltd. and was woven by Lincoln Fabrics Ltd. and Barrday Corp. These vests were purchased by the federal government and by various state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies that were partially reimbursed by the U.S.
The current settlement with PPI was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the FBI, the General Services Administration Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Army Criminal Investigative Division, the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of the Inspector General, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Department of Energy Office of the Inspector General.
“Defective body armor places our first-responders at risk unnecessarily,” said Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, the acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division. He said the settlement shows that the Justice Department will hold accountable those who knowingly provide defective materials to the U.S. government.
In July 2005, the Justice Department intervened in a qui tam action against Second Chance Body Armor and Toyobo seeking to recover damages relating to the sale of defective Zylon bulletproof vests by Second Chance. In June 2007, the government filed a lawsuit against Toyobo for its role in the sale of defective Zylon bulletproof vests to the U.S. by other manufacturers of bulletproof vests.